Staying Awake in the Psychetecture of the City: Surveillance, Architecture, and Control in Miracleman and Mister X
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The concept of society-as-a-petri dish in which a specific population, group, or topological space with heterotopic qualities, as well as the attendant ideas of surveillance and paranoia, has been addressed in numerous works of contemporary fiction and science fiction. In terms of the relationships and tensions between the architectural and psycho-geographical effects of the city on hierarchies of power, the seeing contra being seen dyad at the core of surveillance praxes and the onto-existential biopowered influence exerted by the gaze on bodies, agencies, and identities, contemporary comic books do not receive as much scholarly attention as other manifestations of these ideas in other visual media. With a view to redressing this analytical deficit, this chapter will explore the abovementioned tensions that mediate the relationship between subjects and the architectural arrangements within which they exist and are reproduced citing two examples, namely, Neil Gaiman’s Miracleman No. 21 (1991), illustrated by Mark Buckingham, and various stories from Dean Motter’s Mister X (1984–2009) comics, as dialogic case studies.
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